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DoLE insists PLDT should regularize workers without conditions

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THE Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Wednesday reiterated that telecommunications giant PLDT, Inc. should regularize the contractual workers of its service providers.

“Consistent with the Resolution dated 10 January 2018 and the Resolution dated 24 April 2018, this Office clarifies that pursuant to existing laws, the regularization of workers as a result of the finding of labor-only contracting takes effect by operation of law, and is not subject to any condition,” the DoLE said in an order dated July 11.

In January, DoLE ordered PLDT to regularize over 7,300 employees of its service contractors, after finding these were engaging in labor-only contracting schemes. It also ordered 38 service contract providers of PLDT to cease and desist from providing services to the telecommunications companies.

The DoLE denied PLDT’s appeal in April.

“We will inform that many of the service providers, ’yung nagprovide ng workers (the ones who provide the workers), are owned by the officers or executives of PLDT. This probably explains why they are trying to delay because it will cause loss of income in the part of the executives,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said during a press conference on Wednesday.

Mr. Bello said PLDT has tried to circumvent the DoLE order by asking the employees to re-apply.

“(This) is not the right action on their part because our decision is that all the 7,000+ are already employees of PLDT,” he said.

PLDT declined to comment, saying it has not received DoLE’s latest clarificatory order.

The company has filed a petition for certoriari before the Court of Appeals (CA), questioning the legality and validity of the DoLE order, saying that aspects of the order are “inconsistent with applicable law, jurisprudence, and the documentary and testimonial evidence.”

PLDT said 23 affected service contractors have also questioned the decision before the CA.

Hastings Holdings, Inc. — a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. — maintains interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group which it controls. — Gillian M. Cortez